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Habitats of North Dakota

General Activities

Books

Have students research and create a class book for one of North Dakota’s habitats. Divide the book into chapters in which each chapter gives information on the components that are needed for a habitat to survive. These components include food, shelter, air, water, and space. This assignment could also be a small group activity.

Children’s Literature Checklist

Have students create an ABC Alphabet Book on one of the five habitats of North Dakota (e.g., Wetlands: A = Aquifers, B = Birds of the Wetlands, C = Cattails.) Illustrate each page and share it with another classroom or place it in the school library.

Have students create a Glossary on one of the five habitats that includes illustrations and definitions that younger children in lower grades could understand. Have students share with others in the classroom or place it in the school library for use by other students.

Have students use vocabulary words to create a book or comic book depicting one of the five habitats found in North Dakota. Include words, definitions, and illustrations.

Have students create a class poetry book on one of the five habitats found in North Dakota, in which each student creates a poem on one page with illustrations.

Poetry

Brochures

Have students create a brochure encouraging the development of one of the habitats in North Dakota.

Debate Ideas

Have students debate which habitat is the best for wildlife. Students may be divided into groups, and various groups representing one animal would debate each other.

Formal Debate Guidelines

Diorama

Using a shoe box or something about that size, have students create an authentic-looking habitat for the unit of their choice highlighting one animal and the various plant life of the area.

Drawing

Have students draw a plant or animal found in one of North Dakota’s habitats (i.e., wetlands, prairie, Badlands, riparian areas, woodlands). Have them include characteristics and facts about each plant or animal. Extension: Create a book of _____ Animals or _____ Plants with illustrations, facts, characteristics, and other interesting information.

Have students choose an animal found in North Dakota and draw it as it looks when it is young and when it is an adult. Using the T-Chart, list on the left side of the T characteristics of that animal when it is young and on the right side of the T the characteristics of it when it is an adult.

T - Chart

Electronic Presentations

Have students create an iMovie, PowerPoint, movie, or another electronic media to illustrate and describe through text, animations, clip art, etc., information about one of North Dakota’s habitats.

Games

Have students create a North Dakota Board Game on the habitat of their choice.

Board Game Rubric

Have students play these games using questions from the habitat unit of their choice: BINGO, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Trivial Pursuit, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, $100,000 Pyramid, Twenty Questions, etc. The following sites may be helpful:

Habitats of North Dakota BINGO—Have students fill in the blank boxes with words provided from the habitat unit being studied. Cut out the Vocabulary Cards provided in the Teacher Resource Guide. The caller will select a card, read the definition, and the students will place a marker on the word that matches the definition. When BINGO is called, the student must read the word and give the definition before it is counted. Note: This may be used as an assessment tool.

Blank Bingo Card

Graphic Organizers

Have students choose one species of animal from one of the habitats found in North Dakota (i.e., mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds) and graphically create a food chain for that animal.

Example Mind Map

Montage/Collage

Have students find illustrations, words, descriptions, art, etc., to depict a type of habitat found in North Dakota, and create a montage or collage to be glued on poster paper and displayed.

Research Activities and/or Assessments

Several specific examples are given throughout the Activities section to aid both the teacher and students in researching part or all of a North Dakota habitat.

Assign individuals or small groups to research and demonstrate their knowledge of one of the habitats of North Dakota through one of the formats listed below. The blank lines can be filled in using one of the habitats found in North Dakota. Sample research assignments include:

  • Types of ________;
  • Wildlife of the ________;
  • Plants of the ________;
  • Food chain of an animal of the ________;
  • The importance of ________;
  • Natural flood control for ________;
  • Improving water quality of ________;
  • Recharging groundwater in ________ ;
  • Public use of ________;
  • Threats to ________; or
  • Saving ________.

Examples of ways to research North Dakota habitats include the following:

  • Report (written or oral), radio broadcast (tape player), news reports, oral histories of events, television report (PowerPoint), commercials, interviews, TV talk shows, weather reports
  • Student-generated bulletin board on topic, map, mobiles, brochures, model or diorama, illustrated and written book on topic, scrapbooks, cartoons
  • Slide presentations (electronic or created on left-over laminated sheets and placed on an overhead projector), PowerPoint or iMovie
  • Student-generated tests of the material covered
  • Demonstrations, dramatized legends and myths, plays (puppet or real life parts), role plays, simulations, skits
  • Jump rope rhymes/poetry, song writing to fit a topic, tongue twisters, crossword puzzles, timelines
  • Be creative! Think of other ways you can demonstrate the knowledge of your topic!

Small Groups

Divide the students into small groups and have them choose a habitat that interests them. Have students research, write, and perform a short play about some part of one habitat in which they are interested. Include wildlife, plants, food chain, etc. Puppetry could also be used.

T-Charts

Have students list and illustrate a minimum of ____ species of wildlife or plants found in North Dakota on the left side of the T and describe on the right side its characteristics and features or why each particular animal/plant is important.

Vocabulary/Spelling

Use the vocabulary words (found in the Teacher Resource Guide) for one of the habitats as spelling words. Suggestions for use:

  • Have students write each word in a complete sentence that would tell the reader through context its meaning.
  • Divide the students into teams and have a SPELLDOWN. One student is asked to spell a word when it is his/her turn. If the word is spelled correctly, the student remains standing and moves to the back of the line to be in turn again. If the word is misspelled, the student must sit down and wait until all other team members have been eliminated.
  • Play SPARKLE, a variation of SPELLDOWN. Have students stand by their desks (or sit on them). Determine a point for starting and state the first word to be spelled. The first person in the order gives the first letter, the next person gives the second letter, the third person gives the third letter, etc. When the last letter is spelled in the word, the next person in line says SPARKLE and needs to be seated. The next word is given, and the next person in line begins with the first letter, the second person gives the second letter, etc., until SPARKLE is called again and another student is eliminated.
  • Have students alphabetize the words by using the game cards provided in the Vocabulary sections of the Teacher Resource Guide. Students can partner and check each other for accuracy.
  • Have students write each word as a mirror image (write the words from right to left). This is a strong activity as it promotes greater brain activity and concentration.
  • Have students divide the words into syllables, placing the accent on the correct syllable.
  • Students may partner and give each other a spelling test (written and/or oral).
  • Vocabulary Cards: These cards may be used as game cards or other methods of review.

Writing Activities

Have students choose a species of wildlife from any of the habitats studied and write a story about its life as it roams through the various ecosystems. Have them explain in detail the experiences their animal encountered in each habitat. They may want to name their animal to make the story more realistic and entertaining.

Have students choose one habitat and write a letter to the editor of a newspaper (fictional or real) giving their views on the importance of maintaining or restoring that particular habitat for future generations.

Have students write a hypothetical (or real) letter to their local newspaper expressing their views on preventing damage to a chosen North Dakota habitat that may include a number of factors including pollution, development, drainage, etc.

Have students imagine what it would be like in North Dakota if one of the habitats was absent. How would their lives be different if they could not experience that particular habitat?

Have students choose a plant or animal found in one of North Dakota’s habitats and write a story from their personified plant’s or animal’s point of view.